The Value Of Brand Equity
(This blog article was written and is the courtesy of Robert Murray of Intrigue Media)
Creating and maintaining a brand can be difficult to do properly. What many forget is that all businesses have a brand. However, some are stronger than others. If one has planned a positioning strategy and designed a brand to reflect that position, as well as reinforced the brand to create clear expectations and familiarity in the marketplace, then one is maintaining a brand well. The value of brand equity is very hard to calculate but can be worth a substantial amount of money given the sales it can generate.
On the other hand, one may decide not to place any resources into designing and maintaining a brand. One may operate their business daily, focusing on the daily transactions and customer encounters with little to no energy focused on brand strategy or planning. This also creates a brand, to a much lesser degree.
This article explains 3 benefits to creating and maintaining a strong brand. It should be noted that these benefits pertain to local businesses just as much as they do for larger organizations.
- Familiarity & Confidence (Reduced risk which makes purchasing easier for the consumer or customer)
- Clear Expectations (Value as perceived from the consumer Or customer)
- Top Of Mind Awareness (Being a part of the consumer's decision making process)
Familiarity & Confidence (Reduced Risk)
As a start up or even a well established business, creating and maintaining a brand is critical to business success. Consumers need to know who a business is in order to decide whether or not they will interact with them. Creating a brand that reflects the companies position in the marketplace and then reinforcing that message throughout the business' community is critical to becoming familiar with consumers and reducing the perceived risk to buy from the company.
You may be running a retail shop downtown, and may position yourself as a boutique, service oriented retailer with exclusive brand suppliers to the area. If no one knows that, how will they know to visit? If they see business once or twice, they may not want to risk the time and energy to see your store when it comes time to make a purchase. But, if over time they see you, hear about you, and ask about you, then they might visit you. The kicker here is to ensure that when they do visit you, their experience matches their expectations.
Clear Expectations (Value As Perceived From The Consumer)
As we design our brand to reflect our position in the marketplace, we must keep in mind that it must be consistent with the experience people will have with our business. Our brand is used in all of our communications to the marketplace, and that communication must create clear expectations of what to expect from us when you deal with our business. For example, one message can not give the impression we offer premium products and then the next message communicate that we offer lower grade, inexpensive items. The communication also needs to be customer focused, not product or service focused. Meaning we need to communicate value to our target market from their perspective. Using the retail shp from above, we might state that one can come to us to find the brands that are typically found in Toronto or New York without having to go there, communicating convenience for our target market
Top Of Mind Awareness (Being A Part Of The Consumers Decision Making Process)
Top of Mind Awareness refers to what a consumer thinks of first for any given offering. For example, I say Toothpaste, you think... well whatever it was; that brand has your Top of Mind Awareness. Now everyone uses toothpaste, at least we all hope so, which makes this an extreme example, but the concept runs true. Think of a clothing retailer, what is the first name to mind? Understanding this, we must design a marketing plan to communicate to our target market so that over time, we begin to creep into the minds of our potential customers/clients. This gives us the opportunity to be a part of their decision making process when it comes time to buy. When someone needs what we have and they are weighing their options of where to get it, we need to be the first business they think of in order to capture as much market share as possible
The Value Of A Brand
A strong brand will lead to more sales and can catapult business success. Once your brand has been developed and maintained, you must ensure that you live and breathe the brand from every point that your customer/client connects with it, from your advertising, to your customer experience, to your follow up. Consistency will help you develop loyalty, and loyalty will bring you the business you dreamed of to begin with.
If you are interested in affordable local advertising that will deliver strong branding and results contact us today!